YouTube has banned some British history teachers from its service for uploading archive footage of Adolf Hitler on their educational channels, as they were allegedly in violation of new guidelines prohibiting the promotion of hate speech, The Guardian reported.
As the Google-owned video-hosting platform announced earlier this week that it would not allow content glorifying the Nazis to be uploaded, it has also removed material aimed at educating future generations about the dangers of fascism.
“It’s absolutely vital that YouTube work to undo the damage caused by their indiscriminate implementation as soon as possible. Access to important material is being denied wholesale as many other channels are left branded as promoting hate when they do nothing of the sort”, Scott Allsop, who had his historical channel deleted, was cited by The Guardian as saying.
His material, however, is said to have only included old BBC documentaries, a short clip of Joseph Goebbels talking about propaganda, and a cine film of Hitler’s speech the night he was appointed chancellor.
Even though his account was reinstated on Thursday after an appeal, he told the media outlet that he had been reached by other colleagues whose materials or channels had fallen under YouTube’s new restrictions.
“I fully support YouTube’s increased efforts to curb hate speech, but also feel that silencing the very people who seek to teach about its dangers could be counter-productive to YouTube’s intended goal”, he said.
The Guardian then mentioned Richard Jones-Nerzic, another teacher affected by the clampdown, who claimed that he had been censored for uploading videos from old documentaries about the rise of Nazism.
Jones-Nerzic has appealed against YouTube’s removal of archive Nazi footage, insisting that the move was in essence a “form of negationism or even Holocaust denial”, per The Guardian.
Meanwhile, a YouTube spokesperson said that the website had used a combination of technology and people to implement the guidelines and called on users to provide context for videos uploaded for educational purposes.
Even though both accounts have been reinstated, the news has raised a furore on social media, with many saying that erasing history is not an option – people need to know the truth to not let it happen ever again:
Stop banning history!— Armani Salado (@salado4congress) 7 июня 2019 г.
YouTube is deleting Hitler videos. What happened not even 100 yrs ago must be taught/understood so it never happens again!
Nazi Germany is dead, but erasing its existence will ensure that another tyrant rises!
Studying the past will illuminate the future!
History is being rewritten/erased before our eyes. Just to see if it was true I looked up some Hitler videos on youtube & the only ones coming up are History Channel & British Pathé. At this rate Eisenhower’s military industrial complex warning will be gone next weekend.— cinnamonshelper (@cinnamonshelper) 8 июня 2019 г.
Welcome to Orwell’s 1984. That’s our world now.— Will of Texas🇺🇸⚜️ (@WilliamofTexas) 7 июня 2019 г.
Even the worst things in history have a use as teaching tools.— Al (@alocrat) 7 июня 2019 г.
You can't begin to understand history -- or learn from it -- if you aren't allowed to examine it.
Youtube have blocked history teachers uploading archive videos of Hitler.— George Salvatore (@GeorgeSal_) 7 июня 2019 г.
Because we can't be tyrannised by an ethno-nationalist dictator again if we just never mention it. pic.twitter.com/ZtMLlPEL6O
Google-owned YouTube is also now deleting and censoring history teachers' *educational* videos on fascism and Nazism!— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) 7 июня 2019 г.
The solution to halting the spread of neo-Nazi ideology is not erasing history and preventing teachers from educating people! Ridiculoushttps://t.co/p9ljCjQFqN
It means the burning of books has begun, again. Well done...— Matus Blasko (@Matus_Blasko) 7 июня 2019 г.
On 5 June, YouTube announced a new step in its hate speech policy to block thousands of videos “alleging that a group is superior in order to justify discrimination, segregation or exclusion based on qualities like age, gender, race, caste, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status”.
The video-hosting service added that it is its “responsibility to protect that, and prevent our platform from being used to incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence”.